Friday, 31 December 2010

The case of the shrinking vest, and Happy New Year

With great spending power comes great responsi...Image via Wikipedia

Well, I've been ill over the entire Christmas, so things certainly didn't turn out the way I thought they would!

My husband got on with everything including the washing. I forgot to tell him about separating the woollens though. I did have an expensive woollen vest that feels like barbed wire and is now the size of a doll's vest! Bless him.

At least I'm feeling a bit better now, and am hoping to go to London to see the Regent Street lights, do a bit of skating and visit the Sales (I'll probably be ill again if I cram that much in).

Wishing everyone a very Happy New Year.
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Friday, 24 December 2010

It's Christmas Eve...

From  A Christmas Carol, 1843
Hi everyone. What to wear at Bromley Christmas Market:
  • sheepskin boots
  • 3 pairs of wollen socks
  • thermal leggings
  • thermal vest, short-sleeved t-shirt and long sleeved t-shirt
  • woollen polo neck, thick woollen jumper
  • thick maxi faux fur coat
  • 2 thick scarves
  • hat
... and I was still cold!

I'm very fond of most of my customers, but some can get pretty demanding, especially at Christmas.

A young man decided to buy soap for £9.50, and earrings for £27.50, I believe that's £37, but he didn't agree. Then he wanted a discount, and we agreed £35, but then changed his mind about what to buy and liked a rag doll in red/brown, but wanted to change the bedding for the blue colour I had with another doll. Change of mind again, he didn't want the doll, and liked a silver and cubic zirconia ring. In the end he did go for the ring at £25 and stuck with the soap for £9.50 and paid £35! Another satisfied customer.

Have a very happy Christmas.

Sunday, 19 December 2010

England grinds to a halt again in a snow storm...

Ripe crabapple covered in icy glaze due to fre...Image via Wikipedia
Hi Readers. I've been at Bromley Town Centre Christmas Market two days in a row this week.

Ever tried running a stall in a snow storm? This is one of the challenges I faced yesterday. How to keep the stock dry and still attract customers on what is traditionally the busiest shopping day of the year?

Friday was a bit surreal too, I bought part of a business at the market, which consists of a fantastic lot of authentic Tibetan costume jewellery (someone else bought the silver).

All in a day's work at the Christmas Market in Bromley.
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Sunday, 12 December 2010

The week's roundup, and Christmas...

Hi readers. I did my first 'Essex Vintage Fashion Fair' last Sunday, and it was very professionally run by Michele and Stephen. I sold a mix of original vintage and vintage inspired jewellery and fashion accessories. The stallholders were mostly selling original and very authentic clothing. A great day, great people and highly recommended. The next fair will be in March.

On my Christmas list.  'Fragments' Marilyn Monroe. Looking forward to reading this over the Christmas holidays. I'm a huge Marilyn fan.

         

What I bought this week. Vintage faux fur shrug and loop stitch cardigan from Fashion Union. Really love these. The shrug is very soft in a gorgeous muted pink. The cardigan is glam retro '70's with elbow length sleeves, I bought it in dark grey, which should go with almost everything! Super knitwear for Christmas.


Although the snow covering England is now melting away, our birdfeeder is still up. Guess what was on it today, three ring-necked parakeets. I travelled to Brazil many years ago and saw these gorgeous birds in the wild, and now they're in my back garden!

Sunday, 5 December 2010

Christmas Shopping...

Just added this beautiful large crystal flower necklace to my website, really makes a style statement. Would make a gorgeous gift this Christmas, glamour at its best! Take a look for all sorts of unusual Christmas ideas.

I've got loads of xmas gifts right here on this blog too. Books, films, etc.... plus reviews of many items.

Hope you find what you're looking for.

The original '60's Biba in Kensington



What I bought this week...

Barbara Hulanicki lurex waterfall cardigan and printed floral blouse from ASDA.

Really gorgeous clothes, this is Biba's relaunch at amazing prices (as they were always meant to be) by the original designer.
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Sunday, 28 November 2010

Cyber Monday


NEW YORK - OCTOBER 17: (L-R) Actors Cara Buono, Elisabeth Moss, writer/executive producer Matthew Weiner, Christina Hendricks and Jon Hamm attend the 'Mad Men' season 4 finale screening at the 21 Club on October 17, 2010 in New York City. (Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images)
The Stars of  'Mad Men'

Had a great day today at 'Sugar & Spice & all things Nice', which was a vintage themed bazaar for the suburban fashionista. Sold alot of PLJ (Previously Loved Jewellery).

Did you know that tomorrow is Cyber Monday, potentially the busiest online shopping day of the year.

Here's a couple of fabulous new books to whet your appetite:

Mad Men: The Illustrated World  Buy from Amazon UK
Mad Men: The Illustrated World  Buy from Amazon USA

The only official book on the cult Mad Men TV series set in Madison Avenue in the early '60's. Fashion, beauty... it's all here in full colour.

Style Diaries: World Fashion from Berlin to Tokyo  Amazon UK
Style Diaries: World Fashion from Berlin to Tokyo  Amazon USA

Paying tribute to nearly fifty of today's most successful fashion blogs. Fascinating insights and fully illustrated.

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Wednesday, 24 November 2010

I'm a Follower of Fashion...and the royal wedding...

44110, WEST HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA - Saturday August 28 2010.British TV presenter Cat Deeley is guided along the red carpet by a wedding ring-wearing man as she arrives at the Art of Elysium event in Hollywood. Cat recently split from long-term boyfriend Jack Huston. The So You Think You Can Dance host was one of hundereds of celebrities attending the pre-Emmys fundraiser, which encourages actors, artists and musicians to donate their time and talent who are battling serious medical conditions. Photograph:  Greg Tidwell, PacificCoastNews.com
Hi readers. I returned to Bromley Market last Friday, and had a textile day. Firstly because I love textiles and secondly because there is too much competition from jewellery right now. It was a good move.

The following day I ran a fair trade stall. Lovely people and a great event too.

What I wore this week. My Bay Trading afghan coat. The same as Cat Deeley's wearing, but in a sand colour, and £10 on ebay! (Cat, please have a word with your partner about his torn and patched jeans).

What I bought this week. Bubble knit cowl jumper from Fashion Union. Beautifully soft, I love the plum colour. Can be worn on its own or with a t-shirt.

Britain's Prince William and his fiancee Kate Middleton (L) are seen entering the room to pose for a photograph in St. James's Palace, central London in this November 16, 2010 file photograph. Britain's Prince William is to marry his fiancee Kate Middleton on Friday, April 29 next year at London's Westminster Abbey, his office said on November 23, 2010.  REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett/Files    (BRITAIN - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT SOCIETY ROYALS)

Congratulations to Kate and William on their engagement.

Apparently William brought Princess Diana's sapphire and diamond £250,000 engagement ring up from the St.James's Palace vaults, and carried it in his rucksack all the way to Kenya where he proposed!

Kate is wearing a gorgeous blue Issa dress to announce their engagement. Needless to say it's completely sold out!

The royal wedding will be on April 29, 2011, and being a Friday, it's planned to make it a national holiday. The ceremony will take place at Westminster Abbey.

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Is it WHO you know, or WHAT you know?

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 22: Jo Wood arrives at The ELLE Style Awards 2010 at the Grand Connaught Rooms on February 22, 2010 in London, England. (Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images)
I find reading biographies fascinating.  Biographies are useful resources for 'how to be successful' hints and tips. It's occurred to me lately though that who you know can be a big help towards success.

I do admire Jo Wood, who has created the fabulous Jo Wood Organics.

Jo Wood Organics - Amazon UK
Jo Wood Organics - Amazon USA

I really love the look of her Organic Eau De Toilette, a bit expensive but it's on my Christmas list!

I have two things in common with Jo Wood.  Firstly, we were born in the same year, and secondly my maiden name was Wood.  That's where the similarities end.  I haven't been a model (although I was once accepted at a model agency), or been married to a rock star (Rolling Stone Ronnie Wood) and neither am I friends with Kate Moss.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - NOVEMBER 04: Model Georgia May Jagger attends the Myer marquee during Crown Oaks Day at Flemington Racecourse on November 4, 2010 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)
Victoria Beckham poses for photographers at the International Herald Tribune Heritage Luxury conference in London November 9, 2010. REUTERS/Paul Hackett  (BRITAIN - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT BUSINESS FASHION SOCIETY)
Victoria Beckham as a highly successful fashion designer (forget 4 years training at St.Martins)?

And is model Georgia May Jagger really THAT attractive?

Is it WHO you know, or WHAT you know?  What do you think?

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Saturday Night at the Movies... 'The Incredible Journey'... film review

Image via Wikipedia
Hi readers.  It was a huge success last Sunday at the Langley Park School for Boys Christmas fair, my first 'big do' of the Christmas season.  Popular buys were the vintage 60's/70's silver charms and vintage American indian style jewellery I had imported from the States.  I've got my new stock in now, including some unusual dog, cat and horse scarves, which brings me on to this wonderful tale...

I bought 'The Incredible Journey' DVD through Amazon, and we watched it on Saturday evening.  It's a bit of a weepy at the end.

This really is such a cute movie. Based on the book by British born Canadian author Sheila Burnford, I saw 'The Incredible Journey' as a child when it was first released in 1963. This Disney film was made on location in Canada, and stars three pets, namely Tao the siamese cat, Bodger the bull terrier and Luath the labrador.

A extraordinary story. Take a look at the early '60's fashions too, no jeans or t-shirts in sight!

'The Incredible Journey' is currently number 69 in UK Amazon's Top 100 Classics.

The Incredible Journey [DVD] [1963]  Buy from Amazon UK
The Incredible Journey (The Wonderful World of Disney)  Buy from
                                                                                         Amazon USA

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Life Sayings to the Rescue...

Bentley Snowflake via Wikipedia
Hi Readers. May I ask you to bear with me this week, just a short blog post today. I've been very busy re-developing my website due to forces beyond my control! Nearly done now.

I have two life sayings 'Don't cram too much in' and 'Take Care', when things aren't going well, these two sayings come to the rescue.

Do you have any 'life sayings', and what are they?

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Paris Fashion Week, 2 October 2010

PARIS - OCTOBER 02: Dita Von Teese attends the Sonia Rykiel Ready to Wear Spring/Summer 2011 show during Paris Fashion Week on October 2, 2010 in Paris, France. (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)
Really love this photo of Dita Von Teese wearing a huge pom pom hairband, compliments of Sonia Rykiel.

Like to make your own?  You just need cardboard, wool and scissors:
  1. Cut out 2 circles of cardboard, roughly the size of the pom pom you want.(1)
  2. Cut a round circle of cardboard out in the middle.(2)
  3. Wind the wool through the cut out circle and round the outside until  the centre hole is filled.(3)
  4. Cut the wool between the 2 cardboard circles.(4)
  5. Wrap a long piece of wool between the cardboard, remove the cardboard, and voila! a pom pom.(5)

Stick the pom pom onto a hairband, and there you have it, an exclusive fashionista statement hair accessory!

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Kings and Queens of Britain...book review

Portrait of James V of Scotland (1512 - 1542)Image via Wikipedia

Hi there. Searching through my bookshelves for some historical reference, I rediscovered this book about the Kings & Queens of Great Britain and Ireland from pre-Saxon times to the present. Originally I bought this book for my children, but when it arrived I read it from cover to cover, it was just so fascinating!

The description of each royal begins with the vital facts. Really interesting. Did you know James V, born 10 April 1512, had nine (known) illegitimate children, three of whom were born before he was 20? Well, he did only live until he was 30, and he was a king. That's him in the picture with a beautiful feather in his hat, just look at those gorgeous clothes, fashion of the 16th century!

An enthralling book with biographies, historical background and lovely colour pictures...
Collins Keys - Kings and Queens: The essential reference guide to the monarchs of Great Britain and Ireland  Buy from Amazon UK

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Thursday, 7 October 2010

A Popular Post: Potty Edwards... A Book Review...

UNITED STATES - CIRCA 1950s:  Woman at sink washing dishes.  (Photo by George Marks/Retrofile/Getty Images)
This has proved to be the most popular post yet, so I thought I'd reissue it with a few changes. Hope you like it.

I was reading my monthly edition of 'Market Times' and came across an article about a famous market family, the Potty Edwards.  Based in South Yorkshire they sold pottery, glass and china from 1910. 

Michele Lockwood-Edwards has written a book about her family's market history.  Set in a time gone by, the Potty Edwards would draw large crowds to watch them throw sets of best bone china across their stall as part of their sales pitch.  How's that for an alternative to TV?  I often wonder what these characters would be doing in the modern day world, what do you think?

Amazon is selling this interesting and entertaining book:

The Potty Edwards What A Way To Get A Living  Buy from Amazon UK

The Potty Edwards What a Way to get a Living  Buy from Amazon USA
Love the photo from the 1950's of this young lady washing up the, now vintage, china. Can't really see any of us looking this well groomed these days when we're doing the washing-up! Did we really look like this in domestic mode back then? Is it comfortable doing the washing up in high heels?
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Thursday, 30 September 2010

Runway Paris Fashion Week, 29 September 2010...

PARIS - SEPTEMBER 29: A model walks the runway during the Rochas Ready to Wear Spring/Summer 2011 show during Paris Fashion Week at Gymnase Japy on September 29, 2010 in Paris, France. (Photo by Julien M. Hekimian/Getty Images)





This curious outfit is from the Rochas Ready to Wear Spring/Summer 2011 collection at the Paris Fashion Show this week.  I believe it is underwear.  Wouldn't it just make great swimwear too, harking back to the 1950's? Isn't that a swimming hat?
circa 1955:  Three women in bathing suits sunbathe against a wall on a beach, early 1950s.  (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)


American actress Marilyn Monroe (1926 - 1962) wearing a polka dot bikini, circa 1951. (Photo by Archive Photos/Getty Images)

Friday, 24 September 2010

1980's Monet gold-plated necklace...

Hi, I've been lucky enough to acquire this superb Monet gold-plated necklace with a stunning orange glass cabochon for my website www.arabellabianco.co.uk.  This exact necklace, made in the 1980's, is featured in the DK Collector's Guide 'Costume Jewellery' by Judith Miller.  A gorgeous book with colour photographs, which would make a wonderful (dare I say it) Christmas present for anyone interested in the fascinating world of costume jewellery.

Monet was founded in 1929 in Providence, Rhode Island, and became one of the leading names in costume jewellery design during the 1940's.

In the 1980's Monet produced jewellery for Yves Saint Laurent, and is still a successful company today.

Costume Jewellery (DK Collector's Guides)  Buy from Amazon UK

Costume Jewelry (DK Collector's Guides)  Buy from Amazon USA

Monday, 20 September 2010

More about Josephine Baker...

March 1951: American-born cabaret singer Josephine Baker (1906 - 1975) applies makeup with a powder puff in her dressing room before a performance at the Strand Theatre. A Western Union telegram from jazz singer Sophie Tucker is attached to the mirror. Baker has her hair pulled back into a fall and wears an evening dress, matching long satin gloves and a jeweled choker. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
It's hard to believe that Josephine Baker was nearly 45 in this photo taken in 1951.  Do take a closer look at her gorgeous dress with matching gloves and stunning jewellery.

Chatting to my French friend Valerie yesterday she explained how she was taught about Josephine Baker as part of French history.

As Josephine was born in America, is her life also taught in American history?  Answers please!??

Before Madonna. Before Marilyn. There was Josephine.   This is the Emmy Award winning biography of Josephine Baker on DVD made in 1991:

Josephine Baker Story [DVD] [1991] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
                                 Buy from Amazon UK

The Josephine Baker Story  Buy from Amazon USA

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Josephine Baker, Book Review

Photo by Rudolf Suroch of Josephine Baker. Hav...Image via Wikipedia
Born in 1906 into the poverty of St. Louis, Josephine Baker was a remarkable woman and entertainer.  I have just finished reading 'The Josephine Baker Story' by Ean Wood which chronicles her incredible life.

She began her singing and dancing cabaret shows in America, but moved to Paris after experiencing racial intolerance.  There she starred in the Folies Bergeres, and also toured extensively.

During World War II she worked as an undercover agent and was awarded the Legion d'Honneur, the highest decoration in France.

Always a leader for civil rights, she adopted twelve children of all colours and creeds, her 'rainbow' children.

Late in life she experienced financial difficulties, and was evicted from her french chateau, but then rescued by Prince Rainier and Princess Grace of Monaco.

She died in 1975 after having become famous again, performing at such venues as the London Palladium and Carnegie Hall.

A legend in her own time.
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The Josephine Baker Story  Buy from Amazon UK

The Josephine Baker Story  Buy from Amazon USA

Friday, 10 September 2010

Nine Years since 9/11 Ground Zero...

NEW YORK - MAY 29:  A wreath laid by HRH Princ...Image by Getty Images via @daylife
Tomorrow it will have been nine years since the 9/11 destruction of the World Trade Centre.  There will be a documentary about the 9/11 State of Emergency showing on Saturday at 9pm on Channel 4.  I won't be watching, it's just too harrowing.

Life is Precious.  
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